I have often admired Lucian Durant’s large wooden sculptures, as well as his canvases, and have been a big fan ever since he painted his first cover for the Cable & Wireless Telephone Book in 2000. His art is bold and yet sensitive with strong colors and vivid strokes, yet the feeling one gets when observing his canvases is one of longing and wonder.
Durant was born in Tortola where he spent the early part of his life before relocating to St. Thomas during his youth. While neither of his parents painted, he would watch his older brother draw and doodle in his school books and this greatly influenced him.
"I started painting when I was quite young. When I was in high school I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Trunk, who, along with another teacher, Mrs. Simmons, saw that I had some talent. I then had my first art show in 1962 in the library of what is now the BVI High School but at that time was called the Ivana Edora High School. After graduation I went into the US Military, as I have dual citizenship."
"Upon returning to St. Thomas from the U.S., I served some
12 years in the St. Thomas police force so my art was put on hold for awhile. In 1985 I began painting in watercolors and sold at Jim Tillett’s Gardens in St. Thomas. I then tried acrylic because I did not have the control I wanted with watercolors. In 1992 I moved back to Tortola and built the house that is now my studio and the home for my family. My wife understands my need to be alone when I paint so I have the opportunity to paint for long periods of time without interruption as she works. My daughter also has artistic tendencies that I hope she will pursue after she graduates from college."
"I now use oil on canvas only. Acrylics were drying too fast for me so I switched to oils. I am then able to continue from where I leave off when I am interrupted by daily life. I buy my oils locally from Bobby’s and Bolos, so they try to keep them in stock. I use five basic colors – carmine or lemon yellow, ultramarine & Chilean blue, sap green, which is good for blending, and cadmium red – then mix my own from there. I don’t use black but mix with a lot of white for softness."
"I went to France and Switzerland in 2001 to study art and was highly impressed by the artists that I met there. My teachers liked the art that I did and encouraged me to continue with my style. I have also studied with the Boston School of Fine Arts when they come to the BVI each spring and am a scholarship recipient at their seminars on their main campus in Boston Massachusetts from time to time."
Durant’s largest canvas at the moment is of BVI Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robin Tattersall’s DIVA, a 75 year-old 30 square metre Abeking Rasmussen racing sloop. The painting measures some six feet wide by four feet in height and took some two years to paint. Peter Island is in the background.
Lucian Durant’s art is available at THE ARK in Wickham’s Cay, Road Town, Tortola.